Writing Your Common Application Essay: How to Answer Prompt #4. College application essays give the admissions committee a chance to get to know you beyond your GPA, test scores and activities list. While the college application journey can seem like a mind-boggling task, the essay portion of your application might prove the most rewarding of all. The Common App announced their essay prompts for the school year back in January. But, as we all know, time flies and there will soon be thousands of college hopefuls scouring the internet trying to find the best advice for writing this critical essay. Common App Essay Example #4 Prompt #2: The lessons we take from failure can be fundamental to later success. Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. In the Common App added two new prompts to the pile, one of which was a return to the much-beloved “topic of your choice.” (Cue the confetti!) So college applicants, like those who came before them in , will have seven (that’s right, seven) essay prompts to choose from. The Common Application Announces Essay Prompts We are pleased to share the Common Application essay prompts with you. The changes you see below reflect the feedback of Common App member colleges and more than 5, other Common App constituents, as well as consultation with our advisory committees and Board of Directors.
Top 4 Common Application Essay Tips: But, as we all know, time flies and there will soon be thousands of college hopefuls scouring the internet trying to find the best advice for writing this critical essay.
But what readers often remember the most, even in a lot of the most beautiful prose, is the story.
Common App Prompt #4
What was the setting? What was the conflict? How was it resolved?
How did our hero overcome the conflict and what lessons did he or she learn? The story is the meat-and-potatoes of the admissions essay, and the reason for this is that a story containing all of these elements will not only leave a lasting impression in the minds of the admissions officers, it will tell them what they need to know about how you deal with adverse situations and how you are able to glean important lessons from them.
A protagonist who fights against all odds and becomes better and wiser for the struggle is probably someone who will perform excellently in a tough program at a top-tier college.
Then go back to the beginning and provide the background details before moving back to the conflict and showing the reader how you handled the situation.
Readers can be deeply affected by the inner thoughts and unusual or impressive actions of the protagonist or of other interesting characters. In a personal essay, you must show your character mostly from a first-person perspective, and this means that every action or perspective should be filtered through you.
What are your fascinating flaws?
Maybe your social anxiety disorder has made your extracurricular achievements that much more impressive. In the essay, your geeky photo collection of late Etruscan pottery will make you MORE popular, not less no offense to the Etruscans. Most importantly, write about WHY do you do what you do and think what you think. Explain your thought process—let the reader into your mind to see how you tick.
Imagine yourself as a character and really flesh yourself out to make the admissions officers remember you. Acknowledging your flaws or weak points demonstrates maturity and self-understanding—important qualities for a college student. But this rule is much easier to understand than to follow, and a whole lot of beginning writers and even many professional writers mistake telling about what one did or how one felt with showing it.
When summarizing, one often gives an overview of the situation, using more general abstract nouns and adjectives to describe events, objects, or feelings.
For example, if I enjoyed and succeeded in an AP Chemistry class, here are two ways I could write about it. Try and spot the differences: The teacher was excellent and I received superlative grades on tests and assignments. I even made a fantastic project that impressed all of my classmates. I consider this the apex of my academic success in a single class. She also connects this experience to her present way of approaching challenges and therefore shows its significance to her story.
However, I owe much of this success to my remarkable teacher, Ms.
Jensen, whose knowledge of all things biological and whose tenacity in expressing this knowledge encouraged me to spend the majority of my afternoons researching and building my exhibit. Improve your ability at showing instead of telling by reading some good poetry. But while accuracy, lack of errors, and compelling writing are necessary qualities of a final draft, striving for perfection in the first draft is a near impossibility and will likely slow down the stream of brilliant ideas that you have stored up in your brain.
Here are a few techniques you can use to free yourself from that blockage while you are immersed in the creative process: You can give yourself a topic or event to write about if you need some basic parameters or context.
This activity will allow you to write as much about a topic as you can while getting you in a more creative headspace. An outline provides you with a basic essay roadmap that will prevent you from meandering or adding extraneous or unplanned content while you are drafting.
This means that the chances of deleting and revising whole chunks of your work during the writing process will dramatically decrease.
Write your first draft by hand. Yes, writing with pen and paper might seem like an old-fashioned method in the computer age and therefore perhaps rather quirky advice , but it can be quite practical while drafting.
Since writing and editing require different kinds of focus, you should switch between writing and editing mode only after you have finished one section or draft of writing. And once you have completed your final draft, make sure to have your work proofread by someone you trust to ensure there are no errors in grammar, spelling, or internal logic.
A trusted friend or teacher can be an excellent resource for receiving constructive criticism and improving the strength of your essay. In addition, consider sending your completed Common App essay to an editing professional who can not only proofread your work but only provide comments on how to improve arguments and communicate your story more effectively and naturally.
The qualified admissions experts at Wordvice Editing Services have helped thousands of writers pen essays to get into their dream colleges and universities. Check out the various admissions services they offer at some of the lowest prices in the industry.
Good luck to all future college and university students writing their admissions essays this season!